Day 23 – C3 in progress… (A6, B1, C1)

Two days left and I have to hurry! The new jacket needs to get ready for this project’s 25th day. No time to waste!

Here are some progress images of my work today. The jacket is made in the same denim material and stitching color as my B2 Jeans, so I will end up having a compleat set. Here you can also see a clear view of all the counter seams, both from front and behind.

And for today’s combination I’m wearing the A6 T-shirt, B1 jeans, C1 denim jacket, and the X2 belt. All black!

So tomorrow will be the last day before needing another garment. Let’s do this! See you there!

– Sten Martin / DTTA

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Day 21 – Welcome A6 ! (A6, B2, C2)

Finally time for a new garment! Made under a slightly pressed timetable, it’s a black version of the white A5 t-shirt with some minor alternations. I like this design – it’s super comfortable!

The style is slightly oversized with cropped but neatly hemmed sleeves. The neckline rib is wide and cut a bit away from the neck. The hemming is wide.

I opted for the quickest solution, that still gives me four more days with different combinations. So soon I need to make a new garment!

This is how the combination looked today! And now this new t-shirt will also be worn for an additional 99 days – a total of 100 – during the 979 days I have left of the project.

The denim jacket is actually just newly washed, by hand. Let’s see how that was done tomorrow! See you there! And have a wonderful day!

– Sten Martin / DTTA

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Day 19 – Shirts and deadlines. (A3, B2, C2)

Time is running out. It’s time to make decisions! And work hard.

Chapter 1 – Finishing up!

Closing projects can sometimes be just as difficult as starting them. Actually often just plain hard! It’s not easy to say, this is it! – I’m done. Especially if you are the one making that specific decision.

In tailoring, when you feel that you’re starting to approach the final stitch, it’s actually then it all can becom a bit tricky. At the same time as you have that feeling of soon being ready, there actually are multiple finishing-up things to do, that surprisingly can take hours to get through. All those small “irritating” little details!

But it can also be difficult to let go. You get the feeling that you maybe could have done more. That very feeling can truly be a double-edged sword.

On one side, it keeps you alert! Going through garments thoroughly to look for corrections or mishaps is a good solid and professional routine. But when you start adjusting things that do not need adjusting, you’re on a slippery slope. Time – the hours at hand – can quickly start rushing away uncontrollably.

So make sure you know what your end product should look like, before you start checking the product. Often, a okay is good enough. And especially if you are used to holding a high standard overall.

For me, these were the two shirts I finished up today. Satisfied! Learned a lot. As I always do with each and every product I make. To finish products is an important thing to do, to be able to learn.

Now off to finish up the next two items in the summer 2019 collection – while again using my time weisly. That is, deciding what’s good enough, to still being able to move on.

Chapter 2 – The deadline is closing in. Make a decision!

Today it’s already the 19th day of the Thousand Days Of Hope And Glory project! So that basically tells me that I only have tomorrow, one day, to come up with a solution for keeping the project rolling. A garment. But which one? That decision can be a bit difficult to rush!

Busy as I am right now, I think I can narrow it down to two options. Since I don’t have time to “invent” (create) a compleatly new design, I either make a quick t-shirt – the 6th one – which would give me an additional 4 more days to go on, or, I make a new denim jacket in a different color, which would give me additional 10 days more! But do I have time for making a whole denim jacket? That’s the question!

Do I invest time now, knowing I have other deadlines to reach, to get more elbow room further down the road, or do I make something quicker now, knowing I just pushed the deadline a little tiny bit further in front of me? Work harder now to be awarded later, while walking the thin line, or do the secure and sensible thing now, while still keeping the stressful deadline just in front of me? Getting 10 or 4 days – that’s what I have to decide tomorrow!

One thing is sure though – whichever garment I make, I have to wear it for 100 days. That’s the rule. So it better be comfortable! And hopefully look good too.

– Sten Martin / DTTA

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Day 18 – Do you have time enough? (A2, B2, C2)

Timing your work can be extremely stressful. Do you add some extra time to make it perfect, do you just stop and accept the result, or do you distribute the time at hand for a more even process?

Chapter 1 – The Project’s dilemma.

Mathematical projects can be so unemotional. You make a plan. You follow the rules. Success is then within reach. How hard can it be? Enter, feelings.

Thoughts. Contemplations. Worries. Questions. Have I time enough? Will it work? Should I opt for something more advanced? It’s like a roller-coaster! And you are right there in the front-seat!

The list above was much needed, and very helpful indeed after the initial few easy days. Now it helps me keeping track on all the garments and combinations. Today it showed me I had exactly three choises left before running out of options. So I just picked the first free one, and marked it D18* (Day 18).

What I also could see is that I only have two days left for making another garment. Do I have time enough to make something extraordinary? Or Should I go for something practical, that I just can wear comfortably for 100 days? The dilemma of wanting more hours, but at the same time maybe having enough of them, if used right. To plan far ahead and make great decisions that actually work vs. freefloating creativity! Time to make a choise.

Chapter 2 – Investing in a collection! Time well spent?

Continued the day with the production of our menswear Bespoke Era summer collection for next year. It should be ready soon. I’m making the shorts, chinos and t-shirts at the moment in wonderfully vibrant colors. I like it!

But as usual it takes a lot of time. Time which is noted, checked and filed. I always tend to imagine that items would (or could) be swiftly assembled – an optimist! The reality though, is that it takes exactly the amount of time I invest to get the level of quality I want to achieve. In other words – if I upgrade the garment for aesthetic or resilience reasons, or both, it will take longer to make. Something I’m very aware of.

So how much time should be invested in samples of creative visions? Well… it depends how much time you have to invest. A decision you have to make, if you’re self-employed. But if you ask me, the answer is that I like to present visions clear and precise. Because, then the next garment, in the same style, for a customer, will go just a little bit faster, and will look slightly more coherent.

So I would say, don’t go overboard! Don’t try to achieve all at once! Instead, make your projects in a scale you can comprehend, and do it well. That’s time we’ll spent!

– Sten Martin / DTTA

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Day 14 – Worked. (A2, B1, C2)

There are a lot of different techniques to master while tailoring and creating clothes, and also many decisions to make. A lot of them centers around quality. Do you want a quick fix, or do you want to reach a higher standard.

Usually the higher standard adds on an enormous amount of extra time that has to be acounted for. But it’s also about signals to send – what you stand for and what your preferences are. Right?

Today I will show you how I made the A2 Denim Jacket’s hand-stitched buttonholes – also often called worked buttonholes – just to give you a glimpse of how much work that’s actually invested into them. And also, to show you how thoroughly they’re made, even though I went for a somewhat rougher look.

Here we go!

First we calculate all placements. Mark top and bottom and then devide with the amount of in-between distances.

Mark each buttonhole’s placement.

Measure the diameter – width – of your buttons, and just add a tiny bit for extra room.

Measure the distance from front edge in, and then the width of the buttonhole.

Mark the placement. (Here done a bit rough with a pencil since I know it will be covered later on. Otherwise you should use basting thread or a tailor’s chalk.)

Marked cuff.

Marked front.

Stitch around each buttonhole either by hand or machine. This is just to keep the layers together while cutting and overcasting. This stitch will be fully covered later on.

Punch a hole within the stitched area, at the outer end of the buttonhole (to be).

Cut the buttonhole open. Try to avoide fraying as much as possible, so do take care. (Denim is actually the worst – it frays enormously! But that’s just another challenge, right?)

Overcast all raw edges with a thinner sewing thread. Be sure to lock in all layers compleatly. I usually go around three times – one from the right side, one from the reversed side, and then again an extra check-up one the right side.

There! A secured and overcasted buttonhole. Actually the buttonholes are already working now, but we do want to add resiliness, and that’s up next.

Start with adding a stay thread. It will prevent the buttonhole from stretching while being used. Pass it in between the fabric layers and place it along the secured edge.

You can use a specially made gimp here – a stiff cord – but I usually just take what I have, and therefore use the same waxed buttonhole twist as I will use for the stitching itself later on. And here doubled to two strings to make it more stable.

Then start the actual buttonhole stitching with a waxed buttonhole twist (thread). You can see that I pass the thread under the needle twice, counter-clockwise, for each stitch, before pulling the thread through.

The knots are pulled sideways to the center of the hole, except at the rounded edge where they are pulled upwards to make enough room for all the crowded knots there.

Continue all the way around.

Make a resilient bar-tack at the end, and the cut off the “starting knots”, and the stay threads.

There! A finished worked buttonhole!

Mark where to place all the buttons.

Make sure that design seams and edges match up perfectly.

Macke holes – but do not cut them – where the buttons are placed, if denim buttons are used.

Press the denim buttons in place.

Finished button placement.

There you go! Worked buttonholes all done! I hoped you enjoyed the process. And now you know the difference between a machine-made buttonhole and one made by hand. You also know what’s hidden beneath the stitching seen, which is a lot.

Thank you for following the process!

– Sten Martin / DTTA

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